Seychelles and Spain agree joint effort against piracy.

SPANISH Defence Minister Carme Chacón is having a quiet word in the ears of Seychelles government ministers. The island’s ports are used by Spanish trawlers and pond life pirates are out to scupper them and steal their fishing boats.

Regulations allow fishermen to carry conventional weapons but not the more sophisticated weaponry increasingly used by pirates. Against them rifle rounds are largely ineffectual. Chacon met with Seychelles officials to establish a bilateral commission to discuss ship owners carrying high-calibre guns onboard. Wait until you see the whites of their eyes. Seychelles sea shells on the sea floor.

Meanwhile, one’s worst nightmare is to be arrested and jailed for someone else’s crimes. Spanish osteopath Jose Vincent Piera Ripoll was arrested in Spain on a warrant issued by an Italian court. Extradited and accused of drug trafficking he was sentenced to 15 years in jail. Only after eight months in the calaboose was it realised he was a victim of mistaken identity: A Colombian drug trafficker had nicked his identity and his freedom.

Bad luck turned to good luck. Unbelievably the homeopathic doctor from Valencia, whilst in prison, met the guy who had stolen his passport and sold it on. The thief confessed and Sr. Ripoll is due to receive €85,000 in compensation. Still have faith in the justice system? Meanwhile, a Brit, drugged or drunk; perhaps both, was recently arrested after climbing uninvited into the bed of a Spanish couple who were on holiday in Ibiza. Clearly they thought three a crowd.

The culprit spent a night in another bed; one managed by Spain’s prison system. He now awaits trial and faces six months jail. He can put the sentence on hold if he coughs up €1,000 compensation.

Elsewhere in Spain, a newly married couple have been arrested after defrauding their guests. Using notorious Spanish bureaucracy as a ploy they gained their guests trust and their DNI identity cards then used the stolen data to obtain mortgage credits. The happily married couple even brought a portable scanner with them for copying their guests’ documents. The Guardia Civil say as many as 100 guests may have been scammed. The victims included two severely disabled brothers.

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